Managing construction waste

Close-up of discarded bricks in a pile of builder's rubble

Most of the waste generated during renovations can be kept out of landfill through recycling. Planning your renovation to reduce waste will minimise its impact on the environment and reduce your waste disposal costs.

Reduce your waste

Only replace what you need to

Does the kitchen cupboard really need to be ripped out? Will a fresh coat of paint and new benchtops create the look you are after, at the same time saving you money?

Only order what you need

It's common practice to over-order, so products don't run out on site. Could you upcycle the unused tiles from the bathroom, or repurpose leftover bricks as garden edging?

Reuse materials


Consider turning lead light windows into highlight windows to retain a little piece of your home's heritage. With a bit of creative thinking, you can turn what looks like trash into treasure.

Sell or give away your unwanted scrap

With demand for vintage products, there are many people looking to reuse pieces from older-style homes. Selling, giving away or swapping materials will reduce waste and save you money.

Dispose of waste

Bin hire or disposal company?

A skip might be the simplest solution, or you might need to hire a specialist waste disposal company depending on the type of rubbish you need to get rid of. Either way, don't forget to do your research before choosing a rubbish disposal option to make sure the company you choose sorts and separates the waste for recycling, rather than just sending it all to landfill.

Safely dispose of chemicals when renovating

During a renovation it's important to minimise your family's exposure to chemicals contained in paints, building materials and cleaning products by safely disposing of hazardous materials.

Sustainability Victoria runs a free service – Detox your home – so households can dispose of potentially dangerous household chemicals safely and easily, without harming human health or the environment.

Plan for the future

Even after the renovation, there are many ways to reduce ongoing waste in your new home.

  • allow for recycling and compost bins in your new kitchen 
  • plan for recycling and general waste bins in your new bathroom 
  • create a space for a compost bin or worm farm.

Find out more about safe household waste and recycling.


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